Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Mercury News,
The NHL finally sent the proper message. It suspended Nashville forward Alex Radulov for his Game2 blindside hit on the Sharks’ Steve Bernier. The suspension should dissuade both teams from taking precarious liberties with each other.
Or, as Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said Sunday in more intellectual terms: “Hopefully, it will end the dirty crap going on out there.”
But there’s one more thing: The hockey will be much different this time around, too.
from Terry Foster of the Detroit News,
The Wings are red hot. The fans are not.
It was a shock when the Wings announced that Thursday’s Game 1 was not sold out. The Wings always claimed sellout crowds of 20,066 for regular-season games but had an announced crowd of 19,204 in Game 1. It was the same Sunday as the crowd was announced at 19,751.
You can brush aside empty seats during the regular season and say people bought tickets but did not show up. But it is more difficult to ignore the empty seats during the playoffs.
from the LA Times,
The former enforcer can still be obstinate and outrageous, such as when he says in a profanity-laced pronouncement that, besides not winning the Stanley Cup, “The only other thing I regret is, I had some bonehead general managers and coaches I should have kicked the … out of the first day I met them because of some of the boneheaded moves these guys made.
“I think it would be safe to say that the NHL is a billion-dollar business, or better, right? And they have some … morons running their organizations. It absolutely blows my mind. The decisions these guys made just amazed me.”
One such decision was made by the Hartford Whalers, who acquired Williams in a trade with the Kings shortly after he signed a contract extension in the fall of 1987 and released him less than a year later, effectively ending his career.
read on (reg. req.)
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Instead, a hockey game made the sports highlight shows once again for the worst possible of reasons — one more hit to the head, one more stretcher heading down the ice rather than Sidney Crosby, Jason Spezza or any of the many other exciting young stars that should be the image of hockey.
Instead, we get the image we cannot seem to shake — of a game incapable of controlling itself and heading, as surely as ice melts under the spotlight, toward an injury so serious that professional hockey will never shake the blight of the so-called “clean” hit to the head.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
But Senators coach Bryan Murray wasn’t complaining afterwards.
“I read all the articles when Chris Neil hit (the Sabres) Chris Drury (in February) and it was the same type of hit,” he said. “It was a kid trying to make contact. (Eaves) had his head down a little bit. He got driven with the shoulder, that’s part of hockey.
“I feel bad with (Eaves) getting hurt the way he did and I know you’ll write extensive articles about how tough Armstrong was and how that shouldn’t be allowed,’’ Murray continued, ‘‘but we felt the same way when Neil hit Drury.
‘‘It was a fair hit, a hockey hit and we live with it accordingly.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
There is never the slightest benefit to playing even a single game more than necessary in any playoff series. No Cup champion since the 1992 Penguins has played a seven-game, first-round series. No Cup champion since the 1998 Red Wings has needed more than 11 games to advance to the conference finals.
This isn’t going to be easy for the Rangers. Invisible Brother Marian Hossa might actually announce his presence in the playoffs. So might the boorish Keith Tkachuk. Bob Hartley might recognize that Bobby Holik needs to be on the power play, though assigning No. 16 to the man-up unit would pile on additional minutes his best player might be unable to handle in concert with his checking assignment.
from the Tennessean,
Heading into tonight’s Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against San Jose, Forsberg has not only posted two goals and an assist in two contests, but he also led Nashville in a number of categories. The 33 year-old center has delivered a team-best 10 hits (including a memorable eight in Game 1), snatched a team-best seven takeaways and won a team-best 53.6 percent of his face-offs.
“I’m not saying you don’t play during the regular season or anything like that,’’ Forsberg said. “But I think you have to take your game to a different level come playoffs.
“This time of year, you’re playing for something — the Cup. These games are huge, every single one. Every single little thing can turn a series around.”
from the Mercury News,
Just about everyone in the hockey world has seen the boom that Nashville rookie Alexander Radulov lowered on Sharks right wing Steve Bernier - except the victim. And Bernier hasn’t exactly been scouring YouTube to locate the clip.
“I kind of don’t want to see it,” Bernier said Sunday. “I don’t think it’s very important. That’s in the past. Now I’m going to think about the next game and be ready and forget about this.”
from the Calgary Sun,
In two games, Pavel Datsyuk has potted two goals for the Detroit Red Wings.
His linemate, Henrik Zetterberg, has fired 11 shots on goal and is a plus-3 despite failing to collect any points.
The other linemate, Tomas Holmstrom, has a helper, fired six shots on goal and caused havoc, setting screens in front of Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
In comparison, the Calgary Flames’ top line has combined for ... well, not much.
from Russo’s Rants,
“They are playing really well and it seems like they are all over the place,” Gaborik said in a very quiet Wild locker room after the loss. “It seems like there were 10 guys with white jerseys out there. It’s hard but we really need to find a way. What we’ve got to do is try to find a way to be a step ahead of them everywhere and be in their face and make it really, really hard on them.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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